Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers: Implications regarding permissible eye exposures

B. V. Worgul, Y. I. Kundiyev, N. M. Sergiyenko, V. V. Chumak, P. M. Vitte, C. Medvedovsky, E. V. Bakhanova, A. K. Junk, O. Y. Kyrychenko, N. V. Musijachenko, S. A. Shylo, O. P. Vitte, S. Xu, Xiaonan (Nan) Xue, R. E. Shore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The eyes of a prospective cohort of 8,607 Chernobyl clean-up workers (liquidators) were assessed for cataract at 12 and 14 years after exposure. The prevalence of strictly age-related cataracts was low, as expected (only 3.9% had nuclear cataracts at either examination), since 90% of the cohort was younger than 55 years of age at first examination. However, posterior subcapsular or cortical cataracts characteristic of radiation exposure were present in 25% of the subjects. The data for Stage 1 cataracts, and specifically for posterior subcapsular cataracts, revealed a significant dose response. When various cataract end points were analyzed for dose thresholds, the confidence intervals all excluded values greater than 700 mGy. Linear-quadratic dose-response models yielded mostly linear associations, with weak evidence of upward curvature. The findings do not support the ICRP 60 risk guideline assumption of a 5-Gy threshold for "detectable opacities" from protracted exposures but rather point to a dose-effect threshold of under 1 Gy. Thus, given that cataract is the dose-limiting ocular pathology in current eye risk guidelines, revision of the allowable exposure of the human visual system to ionizing radiation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalRadiation Research
Volume167
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2007

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cataracts
cataract
Cataract
eyes
dosage
dose response
thresholds
examination
Guidelines
opacity
radiation dosage
pathology
Ionizing Radiation
ionizing radiation
confidence interval
confidence
curvature
Confidence Intervals
Pathology
intervals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biophysics
  • Radiation

Cite this

Worgul, B. V., Kundiyev, Y. I., Sergiyenko, N. M., Chumak, V. V., Vitte, P. M., Medvedovsky, C., ... Shore, R. E. (2007). Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers: Implications regarding permissible eye exposures. Radiation Research, 167(2), 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1667/RR0298.1

Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers : Implications regarding permissible eye exposures. / Worgul, B. V.; Kundiyev, Y. I.; Sergiyenko, N. M.; Chumak, V. V.; Vitte, P. M.; Medvedovsky, C.; Bakhanova, E. V.; Junk, A. K.; Kyrychenko, O. Y.; Musijachenko, N. V.; Shylo, S. A.; Vitte, O. P.; Xu, S.; Xue, Xiaonan (Nan); Shore, R. E.

In: Radiation Research, Vol. 167, No. 2, 02.2007, p. 233-243.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Worgul, BV, Kundiyev, YI, Sergiyenko, NM, Chumak, VV, Vitte, PM, Medvedovsky, C, Bakhanova, EV, Junk, AK, Kyrychenko, OY, Musijachenko, NV, Shylo, SA, Vitte, OP, Xu, S, Xue, XN & Shore, RE 2007, 'Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers: Implications regarding permissible eye exposures', Radiation Research, vol. 167, no. 2, pp. 233-243. https://doi.org/10.1667/RR0298.1
Worgul BV, Kundiyev YI, Sergiyenko NM, Chumak VV, Vitte PM, Medvedovsky C et al. Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers: Implications regarding permissible eye exposures. Radiation Research. 2007 Feb;167(2):233-243. https://doi.org/10.1667/RR0298.1
Worgul, B. V. ; Kundiyev, Y. I. ; Sergiyenko, N. M. ; Chumak, V. V. ; Vitte, P. M. ; Medvedovsky, C. ; Bakhanova, E. V. ; Junk, A. K. ; Kyrychenko, O. Y. ; Musijachenko, N. V. ; Shylo, S. A. ; Vitte, O. P. ; Xu, S. ; Xue, Xiaonan (Nan) ; Shore, R. E. / Cataracts among Chernobyl clean-up workers : Implications regarding permissible eye exposures. In: Radiation Research. 2007 ; Vol. 167, No. 2. pp. 233-243.
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